THE BRONX - Mayor Bloomberg joined school officials and principals to release the first annual Arts in Schools report cards Thursday. The assessments come after last year's kick-off of the ArtsCount initiative, which seeks to increase accountability for teaching the arts in city schools.

School officials say that arts education is an important part of a student's education and can often improve motivation and enhance performance in other subject areas. However, while the program is successful in some schools, it's still falling short in a few areas.

The report finds that programs like dance, music, art and theater are integrated unevenly across city schools and some lack student participation.

To fix these problems, the mayor says that elements of arts education should be implemented into daily classwork and principals should offer their teachers professional development in arts education.